Country Listing

Sudan Table of Contents



Government: All executive and legislative powers vested in Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation (RCC-NS), fifteen-member body of military officers. RCC-NS chairman Lieutenant General Umar Hassan Ahmad al Bashir designated president of the republic and prime minister. RCC-NS appointed members of Council of Ministers, or cabinet, governors of states, and judges of courts. No plans for new elections announced as of mid-1991. Government's authority in southern one-third of Sudan limited to several towns in which military garrisons were based. Rest of south controlled by Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA).

Administrative Divisions: In 1991 RCC-NS decreed division of Sudan into nine states. Each state further subdivided into provinces and local government areas or districts.

Justice: Court system consisted of civil and special courts. Civil courts required to apply Islamic law, or sharia, but also permitted to consider customary law in reaching decisions. Apex of civil judicial system was High Court of Appeal. Lower courts consisted of state courts of appeal and at local level, major courts and magistrate's courts. Special courts, under military jurisdiction, dealt with offenses affecting national security or involving official corruption.

Politics: Although RCC-NS banned all political parties in 1989, it tolerated political activity by National Islamic Front (NIF), a coalition dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. All other parties persecuted, and their leaders had reorganized abroad or in southern areas outside government control. Opposition parties tended to be sectarian. Umma Party and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) represented Muslim constituencies in northern Sudan; Sudanese People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) drew support from predominantly non-Muslim and non-Arab population of south.

Foreign Affairs: Prior to 1989 coup, Sudan had relatively close relations with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and United States, and had history of tense relations with Libya. RCC-NS changed orientation of Sudan's foreign policy, particularly by supporting Iraq during Persian Gulf War of 1990-91. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait retaliated by suspending economic assistance, which constituted crucial component of government's budget.

Data as of June 1991